Controlling Featured Snippets, Seeing Your “Real” Rank and FAQ Schema Pain

If you’re still recovering from Google’s shock switch yesterday, when it was revealed that featured snippet URLs were being removed from the main results, I have a few more updates and also some tips for you.

Control Your Snippets

If, for some reason, you’d rather have your “old” position in the main results (ie #1 through #10) and want to disable featured snippets for your site or specific URLs of your site you can do that. Simply add the following code between the and tags on the relevant pages (or site-wide):

<meta name="googlebot" content="nosnippet" />

You can also change the maximum length of the snippet that you have as follows:

<meta name="googlebot" content="max-snippet:50" />

That would set the maximum number of characters that any featured snippet based on that page could have at 50 characters.

Personally, I wouldn’t use any of the above as the featured snippet is still going to get you more clicks than any other position.

FAQ Rich Results Suffer Too

If you’ve marked up your content with FAQ schema and as a result were getting rich FAQ results for that page in Google, then Google will also no longer show you in the main results (ie #1 through #10).

This is because the FAQ rich result is more or less like a featured snippet anyway. The obvious way to stop this from occurring (if you want that for some reason) is to remove the FAQ schema and ensure the page is recrawled.

See Where You Rank Without Featured Snippet

Now, if you have a featured snippet, you won’t be able to see where that URL would otherwise rank “normally” and where it would sit if featured snippets were turned off.

However, you can just add “&num=9” to the end of the URL in your browser when you are Googling the relevant term and you’ll see where your page would sit.

Right Sidebar Snippet Moving Back

Yesterday we also reported that if you had the right sidebar on desktop then you would keep that position (in the right sidebar) and be removed from the main column of results. Obviously this was not good as the CTR is going to be much less way out there on the right.

Today, Danny Sullivan confirmed that Google will be moving that right sidebar panel over to become a “normal” featured snippet. So at least you’ll be back in the main column and getting clicks again!

Categorized as SEO

By Sean Robinson

My name is Sean Robinson and I’ve been building and running my own blogs and websites since 2004, and have been doing it full-time for over a decade. If you'd like to know more about my story, please click here.

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